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I went shooting with my nephews Sunday at their family farm.
I took my 1950 Marlin 39-A rifle that I rebuilt.
One nephew had the 1980's Marlin 39-A rifle his dad gave him for Christmas, and the other had a Marlin 39 Century Limited carbine.

Shooting a Marlin 39 series is like rolling BB's down a soda straw...... you just can't seem to miss.
We were shooting steel targets that look rather like a large three-leg jack that flips over and "walks" across the ground when you get a solid hit on the round portion that's is up.
You get a nice satisfyingly "CLANG" and the target walks away, increasing the range.
The 24 inch heavy Marlin barrel will out shoot most any .22 carbine, and people have reported that when using Match ammo like Eley 10X they have gotten one inch groups at 100 yards.
My 1950 barrel is more tapered and slightly lighter then the newer models, but still heavier then most any more modern rifle or carbine,

Handling their rifles I noticed that mine didn't seem to be as smooth when opening the bolt. It had a sort of small "hitch" as the lever was operated to eject a case.
This didn't make sense, because the more you use a Marlin, the smoother they get.

At home that night and wiping it down, I suddenly had a thought..... The rifle was a 1950 model, but the hammer was a much later version, probably a 1980's.
The rifle had a ruined hammer and trigger from someone's effort at "improving" the pull when I got it, and the only replacement hammers I could find were newer models.
It required some light grinding on the front side to fit the older receiver but no fitting to the hammer notches.

Looking at the hammer I noticed the front had a faceted shape with flat areas.
I pulled up a picture of an old style Marlin 39 hammer and saw the front was rounded.
I fired up my Foredom flex shaft and ground the hammer face to a rounded shape, polished it, and used Brownell's Dicrophan T4 to blacken it.

After that, the action is even smoother then my nephews Marlin's.

The Marlin 39 series in a rifle or carbine is one of those guns you just owe it to yourself to own.
Buy one made before they changed to the rebounding hammer and push-button safety.
An early 80's or before is the finest lever action .22 rifle ever made, and in an age of plastics and MIM, it's the finest that will ever be made.
 

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Got a 39A for my 13th birthday, 1965 vintage; first gun that was "mine". IMO the Marlin 39A is one of the best .22s ever built, and without a doubt the finest .22 lever action. Still have mine, and will never sell it. My son likes most of the same types of guns that I do, so I'm reasonable sure that most of my modest collection will stay in the family, but we've all agreed that the 39A is the one gun for sure that will get passed down from my son, (when he gets it:cool:) and down the generations.

Best regards,
 

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I had both a 39A and a Mountie many years ago. They both probably were early 1950`s and likely 1940`s or older. Like most guns that passed through my hands, wish I had hung on to them. I traded the Mountie off for a old S&W American.
 

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I like those Marlin lever .22's. I have an 1897 that's rough, a 1954 Mountie and a 1974 39A. Fun, great rifles. There is no better entertainment than a good shooting .22 and a brick of shells.
 

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My buddy and I grew up running around his grandmas farm busting bunnies with our .22 lever actions. I always admired his 39A that rode around in an old leather scabbard. We grew up on opposite ends of the tracks. I toted around my trusty pot-metal Henry my dad picked up on layaway from Wal-Mart. Always said if I ran across a deal on a 39A I’d snag it, but gotta tell ya, I put just as many bunnies in the bag with that $125.00 Henry as he did with that fine looking Marlin!
 

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I had both a 39A and a Mountie many years ago. They both probably were early 1950`s and likely 1940`s or older.
The Mountie was introduced in 1953. I saw the announcements in the gun press at the time and, to me, it looked a lot like the Winchester lever actions I saw in the movies and on television. I desperately wanted one, and, bless them, my folks gave me a Mountie in 1953. (I was surprised to come out of my room one morning and there it was, leaning against the wall. Sadly, the box was already gone, which did not seem too important at the time.) I then begged a Ruger Single Six, so I had the rimfire equivalent of the rifles and handguns seen regularly in movies and on television westerns so prevalent at the time. I still have both. (And the original box for the Ruger.)

The Model 39A rifle with its long barrel and pistol grip stock always looked "fat" to me, and did not look like the "cowboy" guns I was seeing in the movies and on television.

My Mountie and Single Six "killed" many a bad guy on television from behind the couch, and all kinds of critters and targets around the farm. They were supplemented by an early Winchester Model 9422 in 1972 and a 4.4-inch Colt Peacemaker in 1976, both of which looked a lot more "real" than their predecessors. (I have never outgrown the desire to have close-as-possible rimfire replicas of centerfire guns I own.) I still have both.
 

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Marlin really made some beautiful rifles back in the day. I have been a fan for a long time.

Here are a few antiques



L-R

Model 1881 in 45-70 (top eject)
Model 1888 in 44-40 (top eject)
Model 1889 in 38-40 (side eject)

My daughters 1956 Mountie flanked by a mid 1950's 336RC



And finally a beautiful cased receiver 39a from 1940



 

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Much Modified Mountie

This Mountie, a favorite field carry .22 cal rifle, has been my most fired rifle. Ser. #L303x. I don't know it's age or mfg. date. I got it in a trade, in 1955, and used it extensively since. I liked it so well that I've destroyed it's "collectiblety", by setting it up exactly as I want it. Thanks for letting me share it with you.
Sut
 

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This Mountie, ser. # L3039, was acquired in a trade in 1955, and used extensively since, is my most, field carried, and fired, rifle. I've checkered it, added accessories to it, added several sight options, and modified it to suit me exactly. I've destroyed it's value as a collector's firearm, but it's the only firearm that I own, that's set up exactly as I want it.
Sut
Oldguns.net has the L prefix as 1954
 

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I seem to have trouble getting good photos of a complete rifle.
When it stops raining I'll take another stab at getting a full picture of my 39-A

Back in the mid-2000's I realized that I didn't have a single .22 rifle and started looking.
I'd had several Ruger 10/22's and several Marlin 39-A's, and decided I'd look for another 39-A.
The 39-M carbines were just too light for me and I preferred the pistol grip and longer barrel of the 39-A.
I'd customized my 80's Marlin's by installing Neidner checkered steel butt plates and grips caps, added receiver sights and plain blade front sights, and gave the wood my Min-Wax Antique Oil finish.
Stupidly traded them off for one reason or another.

I was shocked at the prices of good used 39-A Marlin's and had started to give up when a friend told me he had his families 39-A that had been used by all the kid in his family and wanted me to check it out since it had some problems.
I figured it would be a wreck.
After going through it I found the wood had a crumbly varnish coating that I could scrape off with a finger nail, the hammer and trigger had been ruined by an attempt at "improving" the trigger pull, most of the screw slots were chewed up, and the finish was largely turning brown with a small amount of very fine pitting on the barrel.
I was amazed that the bore was mint and shiny with no signs of wear or muzzle damage, nor was there any serious wood or metal damage other than a small splinter of missing wood from the stock where it met the receiver and tang.

I gave him an estimate of what it would cost to get new parts and he counter offered to sell it to me for $50.00. I almost sprained my hand writing the check.
I rebuilt it, refinished the wood with Min-Wax, installed a different front sight ramp, built a blade sight, installed a Williams receiver sight, installed a fancy rear sight filler in the barrel dovetail, installed a new hammer and trigger, installed all new screws, and had it re-blued.
Now I sort of wish I hadn't had it re-blued but the finish was looking pretty ratty on the barrel and lever, with some original blue still on the receiver.
I'd like to find an original late 40's to early 50's hammer but those I can't find one.

This 1950 model has all milled parts, even the springs, cartridge cut-off, and bullet guide. Only the coil mainspring and right receiver wall bullet guide are stamped parts.
The inside of the stock still has the slightly charred wood from where Marlin induction heated the receiver tangs to red heat and pressed the stock on to "burn in" a tight fit.
This was when American guns were still built RIGHT.

Marlin Receiver Left.JPG

Marlin Receiver Right 2.JPG

Marlin Stock Left 2.JPG

Marlin Stock Right.JPG
 
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